Fragment of "Hold that camera", broadcast on DuMont's WABD on Dec. 1, 1950. The show aired Fridays from 8:30 - 9 pm and apparently lasted just 13 weeks.
Roscoe Karns (Rocky King) drops in and makes a pitch for his own show later that evening.
Note: Opening credits and some of the ("integrated") commercials for "Esquire Boot Polish" are missing from this Kinescope.
I would say there's more than just commercials missing: DuMont's shows, with the commercials removed, tended to run between 23 and 27 minutes. The whole print is really beat up and has lots of obvious cuts. But hey, there's a lot of strange aspects to the surviving DuMont prints (like the fact that the short lived "Marge and Jeff", starring nobody famous, has more surviving episodes than many far more popular DuMont shows).
This show itself is good. The violin acts are fun. The female singer is pretty good and also appears in the upload of (again, fragmented) footage from "Cavalcade of Stars" also on this site. The male singer is a total meh. The dancer act is less-than-meh, presumably because of the set limitations making it harder to preform. The commercial to the tune of "Old MacDonald" is so bad, it's good.
BTW, there's also another episode of this show that survives.
September 11, 2010 Subject:
Strange Title for a Variety Show
Ah, the Dumont Network. "Hold That Camera" began as a gameshow, was quickly retooled into a variety show, and for some penny-pinching reason they kept the gameshow title. Did they already pay for the signs with the show title? Another neat example of the low-budget early TV universe. The program takes place on a nightclub set that is almost a duplicate of another early Dumont program I've seen, "The Morey Amsterdam Show." The singing host, Kyle McDonell, was apparently "on the cover of Life magazine and named 'Miss Television of 1948' by Time magazine." Hence the welcoming big smile -- which is in opposition to the seated audience members. They hunch at the tables behind her and either scowl or look like grade school kids who've been told to stand in the corner. Pretty bleak. Nice to see Rex Marshall in a top hat and shlling for the deleted commercial, taking a breather from his lab coat and shilling on Suspense. He even sings a few notes while holding a basset hound's ears, showbiz at its finest. I assume this program was aimed at older folks since most of the music is from the 20's to 40's and all oldies by the time of this broadcast. They even have violins playing classics. The cool thing about the oldest TV shows is watching the last vestiges of network radio show up as the video neophytes struggle to come up with a grammar for this new medium. In this case, a quartet shows up, flanks the host, and sings the commercial just like on old time radio. I enjoyed this program, especially that Dumont spirit of everybody trying so hard to overcome the less-than-generous budget.